London, July 7 (ANI): Birds get ready for battle just like humans do, new research has revealed.
Researchers found that birds try to boost the morale of their comrades before entering combat zones, the study found.
The study was conducted on green wood hoopoes, which live in family groups of up to 12 in the forests of South Africa.
The birds, which feed on insects and termites, often fight with rival groups to take control of nesting sites and rich feeding grounds.
And the study has revealed a dramatic increase in preening occurs before they enter the borders of their territory ahead of combat.
Dr Andy Radford, who conducted the study for the University of Bristol, believes the behaviour gives cowardly birds more courage in battle.
"We have analysed this preparatory behaviour in humans, but this is the first time we have looked for it in non-human animals," the Scotsman quoted him as saying.
"The most important discovery is that these birds are changing how they interact with their group members in response to something which might happen in the future.
"As they move into the border zones, they start preening more because they know that it is an area at risk of war. It's a case of scratching your back if you cover mine.
"They are almost readying themselves for battle and the dominant males want to prepare their subordinates for war and keep their morale up," he added.
The study was published in scientific journal Biology Letters. (ANI)